Fatigue is a major safety concern and one associated with higher injury and accident rates at home and in the workplace. Fatigue reduces one’s attention to detail and reaction time, which can cause impaired physical skills, induce simple operational errors, prompt foggy thinking and errors in judgment, and incite poor behaviors tied to strained emotions. Simply stated, when sleepy, you are not at your best. 

What to do?

1. Make it a point to evaluate your level of rest. Did you sleep well? Are you ready to go and be your optimum self? Acknowledge if you are not – tell yourself, write down the fact, tell your loved ones, tell your colleagues: “Be a little patient with me today … fatigue may make me vulnerable.” 

2. Avoid the conduct of skilled activities with high consequences (e.g., do not perform delicate heart surgery, electrical work, or complex computations). 

3. Employ event prevention techniques to minimize the number of errors you might make during daily activities.

4. Minimize stressful activities that might bring out a less emotionally mature you.  Allow yourself a greater margin of time, space, and interaction with others you care about. Sometimes “less you” is better, especially in such circumstances

5. Take action to get ahead of tonight’s opportunity for rejuvenating rest. To help with this, try going through a bedtime ritual checklist.